Sulaika is
The first time I portrayed a Goddess was at a Hallowe’en party while living on an Air Force base on the vast, bald prairie. I was fourteen-years-old. All the other teenagers opted out for the obvious witches, ghouls and ghosts.

There was, however, a prize involved for the most unique costume. And I guess nothing was more odd, er - I mean, ‘unique’ - then than a Greek Goddess found 60 miles from Winnipeg in what my dad would call, ‘a one horse town.’

But I did win the contest. And, the sudden, quicksilver and sudden attention of the very cutest guy in the class — Mitch — who was all agog and suddenly shy, shuffling his hobo costume boots in my general direction. It made an impression.

That was l968.

Twenty years later in 1988 this photo was taken by Peter Paul Ochs.
In Lillian Hellman’s Pentimento, she refers to her friend Julia and says, “…there are women who reach a perfect time in their life when the face will never be as good, the body never as graceful or powerful…”

October l988 was my ‘perfect time.’ I was in love with a man who was in love with me. We lived a grand journey first that summer in Greece and then continuing for a half year on the island of Rodos. We lived in both his ’spiti’ and the turn-of-the-century windmill that he renovated into a castle tower overlooking what he called The Magic Valley and the Mediterranean. I didn’t know then that would be my 'perfect time' until 30 years later writing about it. Now, 30 years later this photo inspires and encourages me for the next grand journey…

A note about Goddesses:
Ultimately, I chose to call myself a 'goddess' because it harkens back to the beginning of things: mythology. See Edith Hamilton —The Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, copyright 1942.

The name, goddess, has a sweet sound to it, ethereal but graceful, feminine without any sign of jackboots.

Btw: the Goddess culture is something else, and it goes back to the Neolithic - which is the last stage of the Stone Age. While there is no single exact date for this period, it’s around 9,000 BCE.
The story of the name, Sulaika.

It's the funniest, sweetest, wackiest story of my life.

The above is the most profound photo of all in my entire life. The details of it, well - you can't make this stuff up.

"...When I was 30 years old, I met Peter who was 54. Within a very short time he began to call me, Sulaika. I asked who this was. He said he didn't know, but emphatically, he would look into me and say, "...but that is who you are."

Fast forward to Valentines Day 1990: the day we found out he was dying of leukemia. We decided, that night, that we would marry each other. As my wedding gift to Peter I legally changed my name to Sulaika, not knowing who she was, or where the name came from.

When we moved into our first house together in Gibsons Landing, he unpacked everything he had ever owned. He came across a book. Elated, he said, "I've found Sulaika." It was poem written by Johanne Goethe about a man and a woman. And the woman's name....? Was Sulaika. It was the story of a woman who must give up the man she loves because he is dying...."

Some years later, I discovered that in Sanskrit, Sulaika means, 'beautiful writer.'

Goddess guide me so that I am.